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RACE 10/06/2039 10:44 PM ET
Julia Ambolito
Huntington Courier Senior Cities Editor

CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license A burning school in Aberdeen, United States by Eric Hensley | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Image by Nancy Zambrano | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
The Eagle Fifth-Two building in Philadelphia burning, last night.
Negotiations in Philadelphia's Sovereign Black neighborhoods crisis broke down last night, as tensions exploded in the city over the perceived threat of a highly-militarized police presence in key areas.

Local leaders are reported to have ordered the deaths of the Federal negotiating team sent to help solve the standoff between city officials and urban residents over community sovereignity.

After three burning bodies were tossed over the border fence at Wissahickon Ave last night, police opened fire in a co-ordinated assault on the Germantown and Nicetown neighborhoods as well as parts of University City.

Riots erupted in many West Philadelphia locations, in what some who were interviewed described as more like war than policing.

Meanwhile, Sovereign Black areas in Cleveland and Detroit were the center of similar uprisings, as local fears of a massively increased police presence led Sovereign Black fighters to strike first.

Multiple fires are burning in all three cities as both police and citizens use assorted weaponry on each other.

Here's what's happening in all three cities:


CC BY-SA 3.0 - image changes released under same license Olifant tank mk 2 night shoot de Brug Training Area by Caracal Rooikat | Image was cropped. Image used for illustration purposes only.
A police tank fires on Philadelphia's Pulaski Ave barricade.
The names of the three Federal negotiators whose bodies were thrown over Germantown's border fence yesterday are: Darnae Smith, Jeremy Crowe and Danielle Emingway.

They were sent in two weeks ago to try to resolve the long-standing disagreement between Sovereign Black leaders and city officials.

Germantown declared itself Sovereign Black in August. Nicetown followed suit the next month, while parts of University City declared sovereignty last week.

Several hours after the bodies were collected, police opened fire in Germantown and Nicetown. In the weeks leading up to today's stunning events, police had been observed deploying IAV Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers, M1 Abrams tanks and M228 field artillery pieces at Sovereign Black Neighborhood entry points, adding to already-high tensions.

Assaults were launched at Pulaski Ave, the main entrance to Germantown's Sovereign Black Neighborhood. Rounds from Abrams tanks demolished the brick wall fence, and the tanks were then seen firing on local residences.

In Nicetown, authorities cleared a reinforced concrete barricade at W Westmoreland St Cnr N Broad St with Dreadnought helicopters firing guided missiles. Tactical Response Unit officers were seen advancing at the head of tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers, protected by snipers firing from atop nearby Temple University buildings.

Reports have been received suggesting fighting is ongoing in the Germantown and Nicetown SBNs, and that at least one tank has been destroyed. Several thousand residents are reported killed, while Philadelphia Mayor Jordan will not confirm police casualties.

Small pockets of fighters holed up in several locations around University City huddled behind makeshift barricades but were quickly overwhelmed by TRU officers.


CC BY-SA 3.0 - image changes released under same license Protesters throwing pieces of paving during and metal tubes at riot police during clashes at Bankova str, Kiev, Ukraine. December 1, 2013 by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe | Image was cropped. Image used for illustration purposes only.
Police clash with residents on Hough Ave.
The Hough and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods were the site of clashes between riot police and armed assailants brandishing automatic weapons last night and today, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The newspaper reports attacks on police following events in Philadelphia last night, including a sneak attack on a police mobile headquarters/encampment during which reports claim as many as six officers were killed.

Other police mobile HQ/encampments on the outskirts of the two Sovereign Black neighborhoods have been attacked. Police today deployed mobile forces of around fifty officers which initially began going door to door and searching houses in Hough, but were withdrawn when one of these forces along Hough Ave was attacked by heavy-caliber machine guns stationed at E93rd St.

It is believed more than ten officers were killed in the attack.

Police have so far resisted deploying the kind of military presence seen in Philadelphia, in part perhaps because Hough and St. Clair-Superior Sovereign Black leaders have not seen fit to build walls around their neighborhoods. However, with today's violence, that may change.

Cleveland Police are known to possess Dreadnought helicopters and Armored Personnel Carriers, M240 heavy machine guns and RPGs.

The two neighborhoods declared themselves Sovereign Black six weeks ago, in solidarity with Sovereign Black residents in Philadelphia. Cleveland Mayor Lucius Brown announced a conciliatory taskforce the next day designed to smooth over racial tensions.

Brown has rolled out a silo of concessions to local residents including tax breaks, a reduced police presence and more investment in local infrastructure.


CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license THE EASTER SUNDAY PARADE - SOME MILITARY HARDWARE USED BY THE IRISH ARMY [CELEBRATING THE EASTER 1916 RISING]-112999 by William Murphy | Image was cropped. Image used for illustration purposes only.
Police in an armored personnel carrier on Oakman Blvd.

Police have had an increased presence over the last week and today attacked the Sovereign Black neighborhoods of Highland Park and Inkster.

The attack is believed to be in retaliation for last night's assault on The Detroit Police Academy via Woodward Ave woodlands.

Police proceeded past Highland Park's Oakman Blvd barricades with at least one tank, Armored Personnel Carriers, and heavy machine guns.

Authorities say two hundred officers were part of the assault force, which was tasked with advancing to Highland Park SBN's headquarters - believed to be located at the intersection of Woodward Ave and Manchester Pkwy - and capturing its leadership.

Another force entered the Sovereign Black Neighborhood from the north, heading south down Woodward Ave.

Both forces encountered no resistance at Highland Park SBN entrances, finding only abandoned barricades. However, once beyond SBN limits, both forces were fired upon and were quickly surrounded. What was described by some observers as a battle ended with police quickly retreating.

Police in a Mobile Taskforce Encampment on the edge of Inkster reported a mass exodus of residents from the neighborhood after the events at Highland Park today. They estimate 750 - 1000 fighters remain, possibly with heavy machine guns.

Sovereign Black

Sovereign Black Neighborhoods are a relatively new invention. They were first suggested by black activist LaTawnee Easton in the aftermath of 2030's Washington DC riots, which were sparked by the apparent torture and death of William Bucksburg in custody the year before.

Easton wrote a manifesto in which she called for black self-determination and self-authority, encouraging neighborhoods to take on more accountability for their residents. Articulating the virtues of local black leaders, a number of her admirers rose to positions of responsibility, organizing rallies and demonstrations.

Some demonstrations have turned violent. Parts of the mainstream media have called Easton the author of riots across the country.

Neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Cleveland were at the forefront of this urban innovation - in 2032 they began to direct their efforts inwards and created neighborhood councils composed of African-American leadership.

Philadelphia's Alex Wright and Cleveland's Marcus Bowery and Linda Igwe became the face of the phenomenon and used more forceful rhetoric to communicate an idea of black self-government.

After a dialog with city leaders in late 2033, Wright decided to construct a wall extending around the neighborhood of Germantown. He used connections through the activist community to fund and source materials for the fenceline, which city officials have repeatedly denounced as illegal.

Nicetown followed suit soon after. In both cases local residents constructed the wall, with the aid of well-wishers from around the city.

Talks continued with the city until May this year, when they disintegrated amid a hail of recriminations on both sides. Wright coined the term Sovereign Black Neighborhood and declared its boundaries off limits to authorities.

Mayors of all three northern cities have repeatedly called on Sovereign Black leaders to tear down their fortifications and disband their fighters.

Black people have been flocking to the neighborhoods in the time since talks failed in Philadelphia. The same phenomenon has occured in Cleveland and Detroit, as black residents seek a safe space.

Some have noted the bold display of weaponry around Sovereign Black neighborhoods. Young black men have been seen wearing armbands with the letter 'C' in a circle, which it is believed refers to the struggles of black communities.

Urban War

So Far, the Governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio have resisted activating National Guard units out of fear of further flaming the fires among black communities. Police have so far been heavily criticized for their use of military equipment in combat against Sovereign Black Neighborhoods.

In the meantime, some reports have suggested violence between black residents and Latin residents in Philadelphia. These are as yet unconfirmed. Small clashes have occurred between pro-SBN fighters in Los Angeles and Latin gangs.

SBN leaders in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago have been reported as being close to declaring sovereignty, along with neighborhoods in other major U.S. cities.

Authorities in those cities are attempting to negotiate with SBN leaders, to avoid a repeat of events in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit.

Are you on hand? If you can safely provide reports, images or footage of today's events, please e-mail them to us here.
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